KCK March 3, 2022, 8:56 AM
Had enough of Clausewitz? Here’s another phrase from his book: “Presence of Mind”. He applied it to a young commander who, in the midst of battle, could see clearly the actual situation and make decisions accordingly – make decisions that would lead to the accomplishment of his mission, and ideally also the preservation of his command. No hopes, no bullshit, no fooling oneself.
Let’s talk about tanks, in a non-political and non-ideological manner. They’ve been described as anachronisms, and yet here we are, baby. Tanks OTA and when you follow the crowd-sourced maps, you look for the tanks to tell you where the front is. American armor units describe themselves as “the combat arm of decision”. Fukn A. Tanks have the formal state as follows: they move, shoot, and communicate, and they provide protection. The art of the tank goes as follows: never stop. When do we stop? Never! Can we stop right here? No! How about a pause at the next…Nope!!
So, clearly, the Russians are off plot a bit and are suffering delays. Opinions vary among war news followers from Ukraine the lion-hearted, and at the other poles we have: Putin’s just doing what he’s gotta and the really interesting opinion called: Fake War. Good to have a clear eye, and not be overly optimistic or pessimistic for your side. This YouTuber has what I think is the perfect amount of pessimism and it’s because he’s an infantry enlisted man veteran. He can’t afford bullshit. Watch his update here:
His assessment is that the pregnant pauses are refueling and rearmament ops, and he’s probably completely right. I’d add they are also cluster fux and command failures because you’re bound to have that and there are Ivans with contraband cell phones uploading vids of how they’ve been abandoned by higher ups and completely forgotten, and elsewhere you have whole tanks and other vehicles abandoned with dry fuel tanks. So, a bit of both on plan and off plan. FTR, the better logs (I did a shit ton of logs in my infantry officer days) is a rolling refuel or a leapfrogging refuel. Remember the tanker’s mantra: Don’t stop!
So, this next phase of the dumpster fire called (by some) the Ukraine-Russia War, is an encirclement of Kiev and then the investment of the city. I told you before that an attacker wants a 3:1 advantage in numbers of troops, but in urban warfare he needs 5:1. Recall how we approached Baghdad, in 2003, and the doctrinal estimates were that we could face a major battle with casualty rates we may not be mentally prepared to accept. Then came the Thunder Run9s) which were fast armored reconnaissance in force ops, and we essentially found the Iraqis (trained and armed by Russia) to be paper tigers when it comes to tank warfare. Never stop? Try digging your T-72s in up to the turret and using them as pillboxes. It ain’t effective, Haji.
Will the Russians effectively ring Kiev? Will the Ukes make a stand there, or escape the sack with forces to fight on in the forested and mountainous West? Will Putin retain significant power long enough to topple Zelensky?
In guilty fun, I am watching for the guys I am calling “The A-Team,” who are a small band of US and Brit SF types fighting inside Ukraine under the banner of the Foreign Brigade. What would you do if you were them? You’d watch the other guy’s spec ops, and you’d physically go to every artillery unit in the Ukrainian army and get actual commanders’ cell phone numbers and radio freeks, and then be where the decision point of the battle is and rain hell on the lead tanks. Notice: columns destroyed littered up and down narrow roads.
idk what will happen, but I do know how shit happens. The Russians are certainly in some danger of being defeated, but more likely they will simply fail to achieve war goals, and this will topple Putin or force him to revise his war aims. Or, they’ll win and topple the Ukraine govt. They won’t occupy as in old times, but hover off map and torment and bully. Next: the Baltics, Finland, etc. IOW, Putin wants political sway and enough swagger to advance his demands and desires in Europe.
KCK February 25, 2022, 7:47 AM
I’ma just bullet-point this war brief based on my interwebs watching this morning – spiced up with some army lingo and knowledge.
1. Russian aircraft being shot down, tanks and infantry-carriers (BMP, BRDM, PT-76, etc) being destroyed by man-fired Javelins and new-model LAW rockets, captured Russian troops…I love the smell of diesel fires in the morning. A Javelin is a medium anti tank weapon, operated by a gunner and a “loader,” and is a fire and forget weapon. It requires number 10 balls to close with a leviathan and poke it with this weapons system. Ukrainians are doing it, and dozens of Russian tanks have received sweet death-by-Javelin. Light Anti-Tank Weapons are the LAWS rocket, which has been updated and looks like a toy throw-away 2.5 foot tube, but yields nice results against smaller armored vehicles. Imagine running under an elephant, and spearing it in the belly; yeah, it’s kind of like that but the elephant has machine guns. Did I mention that the infantry have number 10 balls?
2. Ghost of Kiev. True or not, this meme-worthy nugget had the whole world standing up and cheering for “tiny” Ukraine last night. It takes five air-to-air victories to be called an “ace” in the air force, and it just never happens anymore in modern aerial warfare. Missiles engage the targeted jet beyond your visual range, and the actual cannonade or machine-gunning of an enemy jet is kind of a comic book panel and not a real thing. But, incredible as it is, there is some anon guy whose skills, luck, and opportunity all venned and he managed 6 aerial victories, in one day no less. It’s hard to prove, but it gives Ukrainians a chuckle and a lot of hope. If the Ukes prevail, how many pilots will stroll into the bar and tell the babes that he might be the Ghost of Kiev?
3. The Kiev airfield. Reports in the news that the airport was taken by paratroopers, then recaptured, are not perfectly accurate. Remember what I said yesterday: doctrine is such that the wise commander will not drop parachutists unless they can be linked up with by actual armymen. You know, the ones with heavy machine guns and light cannons. Parachutists are inherently underarmed, and over-sexed. Lots of bark, but little bite. So, my contention is that this was a Spetnaz-type op, with very lightly armed and very big-headed commandos, whose goal was not to capture the airfield but to preserve it for a follow-on airborne invasion. If you use my theory, the whole thing makes sense. Maybe they actually have preserved the airfield. I’m imagining the Ukrainian local commander, flushed with the notion that he recaptured the airfield, and then by tomorrow or late today, he has that Oshit moment of seeing little parachutes bloom over his preserved airfield. Watch and see if I’m not right about this.
4. Snake Island and the little old grandma. Tiny Snake Island covers the access to Odessa, and Russian naval forces did kill the small detachment of whoever was stationed there. And you thought Lighthouse was a scary movie. But while they were about to get kilt, the Ukrainians did manage to tell the Rooskies to “go fuck themselves”. That’s epic. Then, the little olf Uke grandmas on the street corner, yelling at a Russian soldier and asking him why the fuck he’s there in Ukraine? That is comedy gold.
5. Russian high-speed type marine or whatever fast-roping from a helicopter onto a Ukrainian ship, and his last 50 feet he free falls off the end of the rope. hahahahahaha! Dumbass. Fast-roping is for queers.
6. As I expected, the interactive map of Ukraine has gone retarded, and is not giving formative reports of the battle. This is the chaos time when you can guess more data than you’re being given.
7. Remember that Russia takes half. They took a bite of Ukraine in 2014. They took about half of Georgia. They took half of Finland. Half of Poland. Half of Germany and half of Europe. See a pattern? Good to review what winning a war is. It is: achieving your stated national objective. It may include, but usually does not include, taking a whole countries land area, capturing the enemy’s capitol city, or destroying his armed forces. A more usual scenario is forcing terms on the enemy, and accepting his surrender. My estimate is that Putin wants a regime change in Kyiv and the stand-down (by destruction) of the Ukrainian military. He wants to render the Ukrainian military combat ineffective; not necessarily killing every last uniformed member. His further goals are to begin to dictate terms to Eastern Europe, and also to win political arguments with Western Europe. He wants to shame America, but Too Late! We did that to ourselves already, asshole.
8. A good counter to Putin’s nefarious plans is for NATO to simply rally at the borders and “demonstrate”. This reduces his ability to threaten and convince weaker European states into becoming satellites. In play are the Baltic states, Finland, and to some extent the former Soviet states with the word “stan” after them. Also, Sweden, Austria – any remaining non-NATO country. Another good way to damage Putin will be to humiliate him in various ways. An insurgency would be effective. Protests inside Russia are another. My favorite: sink a capital ship. remember that an occupation is a personnel-intensive operation and Putin won’t or can’t manage that. Trudeau occupies Canada (analogy) but he has the infrastructure in place to do it. Still, it is difficult for Trudeau as long as there is the internet, the written word, and middle-class citizens who think for themselves. Putin wants none of those headaches, and he doesn’t need to occupy to meet his objectives.
9. Russians in Ukrainian uniforms, a la Battle of the Bulge when the Krauts did the same. Shoot them up against a wall. It’s the right thing to do. Russia has a bad habit of over-playing their special forces, and yet they seem to be not that fucking great at what they do.
10. We were talking about the thesis of Clausewitz, which is the inherent trend of war to go total. Ukraine gives AKs and Molotov cocktails to civilians. Ukraine is nearing total war status (talking or dreaming about having nukes, as well). Russian troops will begin to lose confidence, little by little and in small places around the Ukraine. I still think Russia will win, but it is absolutely possible to humiliate Putin in many evil ways. Another personal favorite: encircle a large force of tank units, perhaps a corps or division-sized element, and play that wonderful army game called: kill sack. Have you seen the Ukrainian tanks in play yet? Hmm…makes you wonder what they’re doing, huh??
KCK February 23, 2022, 9:59 PM
Let’s see. Some random notes as I am about to go to bed but Kiev is waking up to a kinetic day.
1. Biden is as useless as tits on a bull. If anyone in DC had half an ounce of decency, they’d lock him in his office without comms for the rest of the day. Send in ice cream and dancers.
2. The domestic situation in the US and the West (hold that thought: the West, or Europe, is in the prop wash right now) – anyway – our state of affairs within our borders is more critical than Europe because when we lose freedom, that’s the end.
3. I note that France has signed surrender documents already.
4. If Ukraine had just reached 100% vax status things would be going much better for them.
5. Rumors abound as to what is happening in Ukraine, but don’t believe about 99% of what you read. No way there’s an airborne assault on the Kiev airport, because that requires a follow-up by tanks and they are weeks away.
6. Bombs and preparatory fires are hitting C3 inside Ukraine. C3 is command, control and communication. Next they’ll hit combat forces and counter-mobility targets to isolate the combat forces. Next they’ll roll in the tank columns. Watch to see how many Russian tanks break down on the roads. I noted that one that did had its antennae removed.
7. Russia’s tanks look like a yard sale on tracks. The bed springs observed overhead are to prevent newer weaponry that drops vertically and smartly onto the less-armored top decks. The segmented add-on armor is reactive because a sabot round uses just kinetic energy, and not an explosion, to punch a hole. The laundry racks and reactive armor chunks interrupt the chain of events that occurs when a sabot hits. Take-away: tanks are extremely vulnerable.
8. Watch for belching black exhaust from all Russian vehicles – it will indicate maintenance failures.
9. Watch for a stutter on the road from the border to Kyiv – this will indicate command troubles for the Russians.
10. IMEO, if the Russians actually do start landing troops amphibiously, and I mean actually not just reports of such, then the war on the Black Sea is lost fro NATO. I mean it indicates that.
11. Watch the Med like a hawk. The carrier groups (US, French, Italian) will be the tell-tale indicator of what’s going on. If they don’t fire shots or launch air kinetics, it means NATO is keeping its cool. If the big ships leave the Med, it means Johnson, Biden and NATO have lost their nerve. Russia will possibly threaten the ships, but that’s a sign of weakness.
12. Horde some stuff at home, because the truck convoy and gas prices and probably war fatigue will possibly damage our supply lines of goods.
13. Take care of yourself extra good. Grooming, exercise, eat right. Have a good disciplined online information flow, but not too much. The bullshit you listen to will clog your arteries. Find time to relax.